December 15, 2018

STATEMENT: COP24 fails to deliver for people

KATOWICE — Today, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change 24th Conference of the Parties concluded. Please see below for a statement from Patti Lynn, executive director of Corporate Accountability.

“COP24 is ending without delivering what the world needs. Governments fell far short of crafting a just and equitable roadmap to Paris’ implementation. The root cause of this failure–the fossil fuel industry’s interference — was on full display at these negotiations. For more than 24 years, the climate treaty process has allowed polluters to be at the table. But signs of change are clearly coming into view.

The lack of action at the hands of industry forces, and the governments doing their bidding, is further igniting a movement of people and governments who are demanding that Big Polluters be barred from the UNFCCC once and for all. The movement to kick the fossil fuel industry out has never been stronger.

“Welcome” or not by the U.S. and other major oil-producing nations, the U.N.’s latest climate report found the planet to be on a dangerous course to exceed a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase in under 12 years. Still, despite what’s at stake, the talks were hosted in coal country, sponsored by dirty energy corporations, clouded with side events promoting fossil fuels and attended by a who’s-who of the most polluting industries on earth.

Despite clear calls and leadership from global south, indigenous and climate justice movements, what has been written thus far is less a Paris roadmap and more an industry wishlist. While Article 6 has been stalled, the current text to be negotiated at COP25 reflects Big Polluters’ wishlists, not people’s needs.

Through the smog of it all, there is a new day coming. The People’s Demands have amassed over a quarter of a million signatures and are backed by hundreds of organizations from over 129 countries. Hundreds of people held a sit-in on the last day of the talks, refusing to accept world leaders’ failures like not keeping fossil fuels in the ground or rejecting industry schemes like carbon markets. They called for governments to heed the People’s Demands and to work for people, not polluters.

In June, countries are poised to advance a direly needed conflicts of interest policy to finally allow the negotiations to reflect the needs of people. Tomorrow, we will continue to build our movements at home calling for governments to implement that urgent action to create a just and sustainable world. And we will escalate global campaigns to hold Big Polluters accountable for their role in the climate crisis.

With the People’s Demands as our guiding light, the movement to demand climate justice has never been more united, organized or determined.

Our day is coming. And we will win.”

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